Ouya and Mad Catz Partner to Share Gaming Content
On Monday, Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman told [a]listdaily that the company would bring its games and apps to devices other than its own $99 Android-based “micro-console,” released last year to mixed reviews.
Today, the company will announce the first partner in the new Ouya Everywhere program: Mad Catz, which released its own Android-based micro console last year. Mad Catz’s MOJO originally retailed for $250, but simultaneously with the content partnership will get a price cut to $200.
In an interview with Re/code, Uhrman said Ouya’s content strategy will not change: It’s still focused on attracting independent game developers who can’t or won’t work with publishers or pay hefty console licensing fees. She highlighted one of the most popular Ouya games, TowerFall, which was an exclusive last year but is now preparing to debut on Windows and the PlayStation 4.
However, Ouya is “limited by the number of devices we can make,” Uhrman said. Under Ouya Everywhere, it will continue to sell its $99 box but hopes other hardware manufacturers will give the generally small games in its network a bigger stage.
So, what would justify paying $200 for a MOJO when an Ouya costs $99? Mad Catz PR and communications director Alex Verrey cited the device’s innards (“the most powerful spec for any current home-based Android platform”), including an Nvidia Tegra 4 chip and 2 gigabytes of RAM, as well as its controller. Among the common complaints about the Ouya when it launched was that the controller felt cheaper than the controllers bundled with existing game consoles.
Unlike the Ouya, the MOJO did not have its own content store at launch, Verrey said. Instead, Mad Catz encouraged its techie early adopters to modify the box as they saw fit.
“If they choose to root the console, gamers have access to the full suite of software, apps and experiences provided by Google Play, Amazon, Tegrazone and more,” Verrey said in an email. “Furthermore, with MOJO, gamers can download games and content they have previously purchased on other Android devices for free.”
Although both the Ouya and MOJO are based on Google’s Android operating system, Uhrman suggested that the focus for Ouya Everywhere is on content designed for the television, and not portable devices.
“When developers focus on a platform, they optimize the game for that experience,” Uhrman said. “We don’t find that people are trying to build a great television game and bring it to the mobile device. They’re different games for different devices, with a different type of engagement.”
Mad Catz is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange and NYSE MKT exchange. Its core business is in accessories for console, PC and mobile game systems, like controllers, gaming mice and headsets.